Weird History

The Most Iconic World War II Planes 

Mike Rothschild
Updated June 24, 2020 41.3k votes 2.4k voters 43.7k views 78 items

WWII aircraft and airplanes represented a massive leap in speed, power, and sophistication. Many combatants started off flying biplanes and weakly-powered fighters. By the end of the conflict, however, jet fighters were coming into service, along with long-range bombers that could fly thousands of miles. Many nations, especially Germany, developed new planes boasting highly-sophisticated technology. However, even prior to that, some aircraft manufacturers were making planes that were fast, powerful, cheap to produce, and difficult to shoot down.

Many of these planes became iconic thanks to endless movies, newsreels, documentaries, and history books. And thanks to preservation techniques, thousands of WWII planes survive in museums, with some even still able to fly.

The aircraft of WWII saved England from German planes, played key roles in crucial historical events, became famous around the world, and were the only planes to ever drop atomic detonation devices on a combatant nation. 

Here's your chance to vote up the most iconic and important planes of WWII.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortr... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Iconic World War II Planes
Photo: U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

This is an American bomber that flew in waves over Europe.

Is this iconic?
Messerschmitt Bf 109 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Iconic World War II Planes
Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-662-6659-37/Hebenstreit/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a mass-produced German fighter plane that was the most modern of its time.

Is this iconic?
Supermarine Spitfire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Iconic World War II Planes
Photo: P.H.F. Tovey, Royal Air Force official photographer/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

This plane was a frontline British fighter that served during the entire conflict. 

Is this iconic?
Mitsubishi A6M Zero is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Iconic World War II Planes
Photo: Japanese military personnel/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was an iconic Japanese air superiority fighter.

Is this iconic?